They flocked from all over Long Island to learn from one of soccer’s greatest — Carli Lloyd. But the 400 or so young athletes who gathered at the Mitchell Athletic Complex in Uniondale this past Saturday got an added bonus, with a chance to bend it like David Beckham — with David Beckham.
The two soccer stars paid the weekend visit to talk about teamwork, sportsmanship and fitness. And, of course, to show a few moves to the kids, who ranged in age between 9 and 12.
Afterward, they broke into two sessions led by Lloyd and Beckham, teaching some soccer fundamentals and techniques, before posing for pictures with players and teams.
The visit was part of Sands Cares and its Sands Youth Empowerment Initiative — an organization active in communities where facilities owned by the Las Vegas Sands are situated.
The Sands is pursuing a massive redevelopment project at the nearby Nassau Coliseum, where it hopes to transform 80 vacant acres into an entertainment complex. It would include a hotel, restaurants, convention space and performance venues, as well as a casino.
Lloyd is a four-time Olympian, winning gold medals in 2008 and 2012. She has also won two FIFA Women’s World Cups in 2015 and 2019. She retired from the national team in 2021, but not before becoming the oldest player to score a goal for the United States in a 4-0 victory over Jamaica — a month shy of her 39th birthday.
Beckham was a soccer prodigy beginning as a teenager when he played for Manchester United who also appeared in three FIFA World Cups, and was known to be one of soccer’s best-paid players during his career.
Although retired as a player, Beckham is co-owner of Inter Miami CF, which competes in the Major Soccer League.